By Yair Hoffman
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Extra resources for A Blemished Perfection: Book of Job in Context
17. Melos, and see Halperin (1978: 74) for the translator's note regarding the 2. Genre Distinctions 41 even though Aristotle includes tragedy among the genres which create mimesis 'using only prose or verses unaccompanied' (ch. 1, 1447a27b8), it must forego imitation of the style of everyday speech, using elevated, 'artificial' language. The book of Job clearly fulfils this requirement. 3. ' (ch. 18 This requirement too is met by the book of Job. 4. Aristotle stresses, 'But in the use of tragedy they cling to the historically given names.
The fifth chapter of the present work is devoted to the relation between the book of Job and the catalogue genre. 2. Genre Distinctions 37 attributed to the corruptions and changes which the work underwent over the course of generations, as Pope thinks—a point to which I shall return further on. In his commentary, Dhorm quotes Renen, who observed the literary norm of genre confusion in Israelite literature (which he saw as a somewhat 'primitive' characteristic). In noting the lack of generic uniformity, Renen stresses that it would be a serious error to describe the author as working according to a strict programme; we are not dealing here, he says, with a Platonic dialogue or an oration by Cicero, nor should one expect to find here Western laws of logic.
An examination of the book in the light of Aristotle's Poetics is therefore likely to uncover some of the hidden factors influencing the study of the book of Job. Indeed, quite a number of non-biblical scholars have argued that Job was generically a Greek drama in the full sense of the word,13 and there were even those who attempted to alter the book on the basis of this assumption. '4 While these approaches are exaggerated, they do contain a 13. According to Pope (1973: xxix), this claim was first made by Theodotius of Mopsuestia (350-428 CE), one of the Church fathers who dealt with Bible interpretation in a rationalistic way, while polemicizing with the allegorical approach, and thereafter by Theodor Bazet (1519-1605), a friend and disciple of Calvin.